Are there prophetic words spoken over your life that never seem to come to pass? Were the promises released years ago, and while you have held fast, you wonder when they might bear fruit? The Lord told Jeremiah he watches to see that his word is fulfilled.* Perhaps your promise is closer than you think. The almond tree is the first to bud, and the last to bear fruit. We all hold almond tree promises. The promises in our lives that come early, yet require a season of growth to be realised. Our job is to hold onto the promise, and if we do, our time will surely come.
They burst forth onto the bus. As they spilled onto the upper deck, they chatted in another language, their faces filled with joy.
It was Easter Sunday morning, and my family and I were heading to the meeting place for a bike tour through the streets of London. I watched them, their arms full of sprigs of budding branches. It was intriguing. I smiled at the women whose eyes I caught and watched quietly as their delight spilled over.
I figured they had been to church and were holding almond tree branches. I guessed they were European, maybe eastern European. Having just finished an Easter Sunday service, they were perhaps heading out together. Whoever they were, wherever they had come from, they filled the entire top deck of the bus with their coat laden bodies, and joy filled laughter.
The joy was infectious, and I enjoyed watching the fun.
It was later that day I thought of them again. We had ridden our bikes through sun-filled London streets, and were coming to the close of our 4-hour ride. I was walking away from a thoroughly British display of military pomp and circumstance when I saw a young couple.
The young woman was holding sprigs of budding branches, similar to those held by the women on the bus earlier that day. I caught her eye and smiled. I wanted to ask them what they held and where they were from. Aware of time, I hastened towards them, smiling,
They smiled back at me.
I motioned to the sprigs and asked if it was an almond tree branch.
“Yes. It is for Easter – for a new life,” they replied, in stilted English.
“Yes, I understand. Jeremiah 1:11.”
I felt the familiar desire to pray for them.
“Where are you from?”
They looked at me carefully.
Relief flooded their faces.
“You are for our country?”
“Absolutely,” I said. “Can I please pray for you?”
“Yes, you may.”
They watched as I held their hands in my own.
We stood in the milling crowd of tourists. A British springtime afternoon, with sunshine filling the air. I blessed the young couple that stood before me. Feeling God’s heart, I prayed for their country; and I prayed for them. I called in their God-given promises and commanded their destinies open in the name of Jesus. The sprigs of the almond tree spoke of God’s goodness and their future fruitfulness to come.
There were a few other promises I felt to release in prayer for them, including a home, and I thanked them for allowing me to pray.
“Our English is not very good. We do not understand very well.”
They both looked concerned.
“It’s ok. God understands. My prayers are to bless you, to give you a hope and a future. He watches his promises over you. God will be sure to see them fulfilled.”
They smiled at me as I wished them well and turned to hurry back to my waiting family.
A beautiful young couple, among the throng of people, holding God’s promise that he watches over them. They represented a people group – a people God adored. It was not a coincidence that I had seen them, especially after my attention had been so acutely drawn to the joyful crowd on the bus earlier that day. They all held the sprig of promise that God would watch over them until his promises came to pass. His promises were secure and within their grasp.
Captivated by the joyful chatter of the people on the bus, I knew God was highlighting something, but I did not know what. That was not until I saw this young couple clutching their promise as they walked in the early spring sun.
God is watching over his people.
God is watching over nations.
God is watching over us!
I’m sure his heart grieves at what he witnesses in the Ukraine, but I am also sure he delights as his light grows through us. For the light is growing, and he will watch over his word to see that it passes.
As we hold the promises of God in our lives, remember that the almond tree is the first to bud, but the last to bear fruit. We must allow time to pass as we co-operate with God in our process. He knows what he is doing and has our best in his sights.
I know God’s heart delights as we hold firm to his promises. Together, let’s embrace our respective almond branches, knowing that our time will surely come. The Lord watches to see his promises fulfilled. He is always good to fulfill his word. Know your time will come, even when others around you are bearing their promise right now. You hold the sprig of an almond branch, and he is watching to see his word pass. You will bear fruit, for he is watching. Your time will surely come, because…
God is Good!
*Jeremiah 1:11-12 The word of the LORD came to me:
“What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
The LORD said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
The root of the Hebrew word for ‘almond’ is ‘shaked.’ It is an identical root for the verb ‘shakad,’ which means ‘to be diligent,’ ‘to watch over.’ God is using a verbal play on words to communicate to Jeremiah that he is diligent in seeing that his word will come to pass. He watches over his word in our lives.
In highlighting the branch of the almond tree, God shows Jeremiah that he is watching over His word to bring it to pass. I would add, no matter the passage of time. Many of us may feel that the promise of fruit has been long coming. Be aware that we might hold the branch of an almond tree. The almond branch – the first to bud (bear promise) but the last to fruit. Remember, God will be sure to see his word bear fruit in the fullness of his timing. Our job is to hold on and continue to do all we are called to. We then need only stand fast and watch him do the rest.
© Beth Kennedy 2023
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